I’ve had a few people ask me about the Arduino, especially since I have started playing with the “Shrimp” (more on that later).

Arduino is an open-source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software. It’s intended for artists, designers, hobbyists and anyone interested in creating interactive objects or environments. (from the Arduino website)

Two good sources for background to the this world-changing gadget are Jody Culkin’s “Arduino Comic Strip”.

Arduino is central to all the “Maker” and Fab Lab stuff: it’s what provides cheaper and easy-to-use computing power.  Click the picture below for a PDF of a cartoon strip that introduces Arduino.


The guys who made the Arduino

and the other is an article in the IEEE Spectrum magazine on the history of the Arduino, “The Making of the Arduino“.

And lastly, of course, you can go straight to the horse’s mouth, the Arduino website: www.Arduino.cc.

And here are two of the original developers (Massimo Banzi and David Cuartielles) talking about the latest Arduino, the YÚN, a combined Arduino and Linux box:

I was surfing around, looking for something about the history of the Arduino, when I came across the IEEE Spectrum magazine, a “must read” for anyone interested in any and all aspects of technology.  Here’s a sample to whet your appetite.

Spectrum Front Page


I recently sent an e-mail to all the actual or potential UK Fab Lab groups I could find.  This is what it said:


I am part of a group that is interested in getting as many Fab Labs going in the UK as possible. We are just starting out: you can read a little about us at http://www.FabLabsUK.co.uk and http://www.meetup.com/FabLabsUK/.

So far we have initial interest in Kent, Hampshire and Dorset. We are keen to see how those of us interested in Fab Labs can capitalize on co-operation; particularly in not re-inventing wheels when it comes to, for instance,

  • Designing operating procedures,
  • Building equipment using open-source designs
  • Capitalizing on each others experience in sourcing funding.

I am attempting to contact any groups in the UK who either are Fab Labs, or who have some intention of becoming Fab Labs.

Would you be interested in a joint meeting in the New Year, to see how we can cooperate in making a UK network of Fab Labs a reality?

So far I know about:

There is a http://www.fablabs.org.uk/ website, that seems to have been born in Sheffield; but also seems to have had no activity int he last two years, as far as I can see.

If you know of any others, I’d be grateful if you could let me know, and/or pass this on.

The reason for publishing this here is that there are many groups that seem shy of publishing contact information: I’m hoping that this may reach them!

… any chance ours will catch up?

Nov.24, 2011

Shanghai Government Technology committee has issued a call for a proposal to build 100 community hackerspaces with government funding for equipment. The communities in resident area are going to manage the spaces and pay for the materials. Each space is required to be at least 100 square meters, more than 200 days/year open, equipped with wood lathes, metal lathes, saws and drill grinding combined machine, milling machine and other tools.

This from 3ders.org.   Read more: ===>

We have a meeting scheduled on Wednesday 7th December at Bore Place, near Edenbridge, Kent:

Check out the Meetup Group Event, here.

Here’s Bore Place: http://www.commonwork.org/

I’m visiting family in Florida over Xmas, and thought I’d fit in some Fab Lab visits to see how they do it there.  The Faulhaber Fab Lab in GWiz, in Sarasota is to drool over!

And if you ever wanted to tell someone what a Fab Lab is, and what you can do there, then this presentation is, I believe, a winner:

Gwiz Fab Lab, Sarasota, Florida

Had some interesting talks yesterday.  I’m hoping and praying we may have found a place to have a Fab Lab in Bournemouth.

Watch this space!

Final artwork for Raspberry Pi PCB

There’s a great programme on Radio 4 (Click On) that visits the London HackSpace, discusses Raspberry Pi with Eben Upton, and then talks to Manchester Fab Lab, and even Neil Gerschenfeld.  Click here to “listen again” to the programme.

StackExchange curate some excellent Q&A forums. They also have a fairly rigorous open process for deciding which new forums to start. A proposal for a forum dedicated to 3D printers, laser cutters and other sorts of personal manufacturing is currently going through that process. Today they entered the “commitment” phase, asking people who would like to use the forum to commit to asking at least 10 questions in the first 3 months. ; If you’re interested in this forum appearing ;- and I suggest you probably are :) ;- then please visit this link and make your commitment known. http://area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/22246/3d-printers-laser-cutters-personal-manufacturing

We have a new Meetup Group, and four new members within 20 minutes.

Check it out http://www.meetup.com/FabLabsUK

Join the forum discussion on this post